Basically all of the discourse around the Los Angeles Angels right now is regarding whether or not they will actually trade Shohei Ohtani as well as what it would actually take to acquire the two-way star. Frankly, keeping up with all of the rumors/arm chair GM proposals is getting exhausting.
To help everyone keep up with all of the prognosticating going on, we are going to put together a tracker for all of the major Ohtani rumors and updates that come out. It is a certainty that we will be miss some smaller/repetitive updates and we won't be including random tweets of questionable origin. The focus is going to be on rumors and proposals from the middle of July and onward as well.
We will also be giving our grades for the various rumors/proposals. No, there will not be any science involved in these grades, but we will at least give our rationale for why they get the grade they got.
July 24th - Morosi reports that Orioles and Diamondbacks have checked in
After a few days of really vague reporting around Ohtani, Jon Morosi put some actual teams out there as he reported that both the Diamondbacks and Orioles have inquired about Shohei's availability at the trade deadline.
Grade - A: The report was just a tweet, but it involved two new names who are legit contenders and who also have the young talent that the Angels would covet if they were to make Shohei available. Also, this was a nice one because the interest wasn't oversold, but still involved teams that make sense.
July 21st - MLB dot com releases group of "interesting" Ohtani trade proposals
The fine folks over at MLB decided to release their own list of potential Ohtani trade proposals that also identified the teams that they thought could use Ohtani the most with proposals from the Rays, Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Mariners, Rangers, Dodgers, Giants, and Padres all getting some screen time.
Grade - B-: Some of the proposals were interesting, but there were too many proposals that weren't treating Shohei like a guy that doesn't fill two needs with one elite roster spot. Plus, there is almost no chance that Ohtani gets moved to an AL West team even if he is moved.
July 21st - Jon Morosi reports on what it would take for the Angels to consider trading Shohei
Morosi followed up his previously reporting with the specific idea that the Angels will only consider moving Ohtani if they don't pass the Red Sox and Yankees in the wild card race.
Grade - B: The update makes sense, but doesn't include any potential destinations and doesn't provide any context as to how well the Angels may be playing closer to the deadline which is likely to matter.
July 20th - Jon Morosi reports that the Angels will decide on Ohtani 24-48 hours before the deadline
Jon Morosi tweeted that the Angels are not going to decide on whether or not to trade Shohei until 1-2 days before the trade deadline and are not close to any decision.
Grade - C: This at least seems to indicate some conversations with actual baseball people, but this is a nothing burger beyond that. The Angels waiting on this sort of move isn't anything new.
July 19th - ESPN had some wild ideas for potential Shohei Ohtani trades
ESPN went with a different format for their Ohtani trade proposal dump as they got multiple writers to throw out trade proposals from the Rays, Yankees, Mets, Orioles, Giants, Mariners, Diamondbacks, Rangers, and Dodgers and then got Jeff Passan to evaluate each proposal.
Grade - A: Some of these proposals were laughable, but ESPN gets full marks for having Passan tear each package apart as the voice of reason. The vast majority of these sorts of mock proposals do not fully comprehend how difficult any trade for Ohtani would be from a value perspective (especially in-division), but Jeff stands tall as a voice of reason.
July 19th - Sports Illustrated threw out five Shohei Ohtani trade proposals
We pivot to Sports Illustrated for this mock trade proposal as they put together five trade packages for Ohtani from the Dodgers, Yankees, Orioles, Phillies, and Rays.
Grade - C+: This felt a little bit like a play to appeal to as many big markets as possible, but at least it only included one AL West team. There was also too much focus on quantity in most of these trade proposals with not enough emphasis on the actual quality players that the Angels will almost certainly demand in any trade for Ohtani.
July 19th - MLB dot com ranked the potential suitors for Shohei Ohtani
MLB dot com put together a list of the most likely suitors for the Shohei Ohtani at the trade deadline based on where he would make the largest impact.
Grade - C-: The rankings here seem completely arbitrary. If the idea is pure impact, then there are some fringe playoff contenders that are clearly missing (the Diamondbacks, Blue Jays, and Astros stick out as notable omissions). There are also too many teams that either don't have anywhere near enough to actually trade for Shohei or are AL West teams which are probably dead on arrival.